With college football’s national signing day just one week away, we now take a look at the Gamecocks’ current recruiting class and the targets left on the board. South Carolina currently has 28 committed prospects in this class, with seven of those commits already enrolled as early enrollees. In part 2 of our national signing day preview, we take a look at the 21 committed prospects that will be signing with the Gamecocks on national signing day.
DE Shameik Blackshear (6-5/240) – South Carolina needs major help on the defensive line next season, and Blackshear, a four star defensive end, can provide that help. Blackshear has been committed to the Gamecocks since May and is considered to be a freak athlete. Depending on how he recovers from his torn ACL, Blackshear should compete for a spot in the two deep during fall practice.
ATH Jalen Christian (5-10/165) – Four star athlete Jalen Christian has been committed to the Gamecocks since May and will likely play wide receiver in college. What makes Christian special is his speed and quickness, even drawing some comparisons to Ace Sanders.
OG Zack Bailey (6-5/315) – Four star offensive guard Zack Bailey is one of South Carolina’s top offensive lineman committed for this class. He has a nice frame and size for an offensive guard and could be a good one for the Gamecocks in a couple years. Bailey was one of five finalists for the Mr. Football Award in South Carolina.
OT Christian Pellage (6-7/282) – With not many offensive tackles returning next year for the Gamecocks, four star offensive tackle Christian Pellage is an important recruit for this class. Pellage will need to learn the offensive system quick as he will most likely play some role on the offensive line next season.
ATH Octavis Johnson (6-1/181) – Four star athlete Octavis Johnson has had a very quiet recruiting process since committing to the Gamecocks in June. Johnson will most likely play safety during his college career.
JUCO DE Dante Sawyer (6-2.5/262) – Four star defensive end Dante Sawyer was originally committed to the Gamecocks 2014 recruiting class, but needed to go the junior college route to correct some academic issues. Sawyer is physically ready to play in the SEC and will compete for a starting defensive end spot during fall practice.
QB Lorenzo Nunez (6-2.5/190) – The quarterback for this recruiting class, Nunez holds a four star rating and has dual threat ability. Nunez will need to add some weight before he’s ready to play quarterback in the SEC, but some seem to believe he has an outside shot to play next year for the Gamecocks.
RB AJ Turner (5-11/180) – Three star running back AJ Turner has had coaches all over him recently, trying to persuade him to flip from the Gamecocks, but those efforts were meaningless as he remained true to his commitment. Turner had offers from schools all over the country, with Oregon being the school hardest on him about flipping his commitment.
WR Dexter Neal (6-2/195) – Three star wide receiver Dexter Neal has given different percentages on his commitment to the Gamecocks throughout the process, but is now 100% to the Gamecocks. Neal is another great athlete in this class that will also have a chance to play baseball for South Carolina.
RB Mon Denson (5-11/214) – Three star running back Mon Denson appears to have great potential at running back and can really pack a punch. Denson is a hard, powerful runner that also adds a bit of sneaky quickness to his game. Denson and Turner could be a great package at running back in a couple years.
S Antoine Wilder (5-11/175) – Early in the process, the Gamecocks were able to get in on the recruitment of Wilder because of his friendship with former commit Arden Key. The Gamecocks were able to secure the three star commitment and solid future safety. Wilder is known for being a hard hitter and having a nose for the ball.
LB Daniel Fennell (6-2/220) – Three star linebacker Daniel Fennell is another member of the solid linebacker class being brought in. Fennell possesses a nose for the ball and good tackling skills.
DE Quandeski Whitlow (6-3/221) – The Gamecocks staff have been doing a lot of work in recent weeks to hold off other teams for three star defensive end Quandeski Whitlow’s commitment. Some believe that Whitlow has only scratched the surface on his talent and has a higher ceiling than a lot of prospects.
DB Damon Arnette (6-2/185) – Another player that has seen his recruitment heat up in recent weeks is three star defensive back Damon Arnette. Arnette has been committed to the Gamecocks since July, but Michigan and Ohio State have been working him hard. Arnette’s recruitment could go all the way to national signing day.
JUCO S Toure Boyd (6-1/195) – One of the latest commitments in this class, four star safety Toure Boyd is starting to draw some real attention from fans. Boyd has been compared to the Gamecocks former hard hitting safety DJ Swearinger and that praise is legitimate. Boyd will likely be competitive for a starting safety spot next season for the Gamecocks.
OT Blake Camper (6-7/280) – The Gamecocks were recently able to flip three star offensive tackle commit Blake Camper from Rutgers. Camper has a nice frame, but will likely need time to add some good weight to his frame before he is ready to contribute. But with the Gamecocks offensive tackle situation next season in question, he may be forced into action.
TE Kyle Markway (6-4/240) – Three star tight end Kyle Markway has been committed to the Gamecocks since May and has not wavered in his commitment. Markway possesses nice size and has been told to prepare to play next season with question marks surrounding the Gamecocks tight end depth chart.
TE Connor Redmond (6-4/225) – The other tight end commitment in this class is three star Connor Redmond. Like the other tight end commit, Kyle Markway, Redmond has been told to prepare to play next season as the freshman tight ends could play a role in some capacity.
P Joseph Charlton (6-4/180) – Ranked as the second best punter in the nation, three star punter Joseph Charlton chose to commit to the Gamecocks. Charlton has a very strong leg and will likely be very competitive for the punting job next season.
JUCO DE Devante Covington (6-4/240) – Someone that not many Gamecock fans have heard of is recent three star defensive end commit Devante Covington. Covington originally signed with the Gamecocks in the 2013 recruiting class, but needed to correct some academic issues before being able to play at South Carolina.
JUCO DE Ulric Jones (6-6.5/283) – Junior college three star defensive end commit Ulric Jones has actually already signed with the Gamecocks, but is not yet on campus. Jones just needs to finish up some classes in the spring semester and will enroll for summer workouts. Jones is a bid bodied player and is likely a long term defensive tackle for the Gamecocks.